Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Some Thoughts on Winter Health Care for Toddlers

In the last two weeks, three different people have asked me about how to keep their toddlers healthy during the winter months without resorting to over-the-counter or prescription medications.

I am happy to share my personal experience with my own infant daughter 27 years ago, as well as what her experience is currently with her daughter.  I do want to remind folks that I am not a doctor, and if your child is truly not well, please take them to a doctor or your local ER if the situation warrants that level of care.  

That being said, here are some winter health alternatives that truly DO work!  Please note that I do NOT have affiliations with nor do I receive any financial bonus from any of the brands listed in this blog post.)


Eat the Most Healthy Food You Can Afford

What is more important than the food we feed our families?  I am well aware that today's busy, hectic run-from-pillar-to-post lifestyle doesn't afford us the time to shop and cook like our Moms or Grandmoms may have cooked, and from scratch to boot. Do the best you can, with NO self judgement! 

Even if you can only afford the time or money to eat one organic, non-GMO meal a week, or only add one organic ingredient to a meal at a time, then that is what you can do and be proud of your Self for the loving effort of doing so for your family.  Make changes slowly and replace one conventional food product with one organic or non-GMO food product a week and, in a year, you will have replaced 52 foods with healthier versions!  Bravo!  (This is a larger topic for a whole blog post of its own!)


Sinus Infections 

Regarding a sinus infection, one thing you might consider is to run a diffuser with essential oils (EO) in it. [Be cautious and aware of your own child's sensitivities when using EOs.  Please do not diffuse a whole room or house until you know for sure how your child will react.  Use a quality brand EO, not a cheaper variety that may contain more perfume oils.] Once you've determined that EOs are safe for your family, you could use lavender (antiviral), thieves (antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial), or eucalyptus (antiviral). If there is congestion, you could use Mommy's Bliss cough syrup for the congestion, and/or Zarbee's Naturals Baby Immune Support to help boost your child's immune system. Mommy's Bliss is available on Amazon. Zarbee's Naturals Baby products are available in stores, and also on Amazon (often at a better price). 


Immune Support 

To help keep the immune system strong, and also help shorten the duration and lessen the severity of any cold, flu, and even sinus issues, you might  try GaiaKids Black Elderberry Syrup (antiviral).  Homeopathic ColdCalm, by Boiron, is wonderful to help stop runny noses quickly, even those caused by teething. ColdCalm comes in both kid and adult versions, both a staple in my house as we move into the colder months.


Congestion and Mucus 

Zarbee's Naturals Baby Cough Syrup+Mucus is a reliable way to break up mucus.  

Another great way to combat mucus (but only if your child is over 12 months old and likes onions) is through the food medicine of sweet onion honey.  Onions will help thin out clumpy mucus into sheets so that the body can expel it more easily.  Onion honey is simple to make:  fill a jar halfway up with sliced sweet onions,  and add honey to cover about an inch above the onions.  NOTE:  If you have a jar of honey that has crystallized, slicing up onions and adding them to that jar solves two issues!  It will create a sweet, medicinal liquid in about 24 hours or less.  I usually let it sit in a dark, cool cabinet for about 2-4 weeks so that the onions get softer, but you can use the honey in 24-48 hours if needed.  It can be eaten directly from the spoon if they don't mind the sweet onion taste, or add both the onions and honey to soup, or spread the honey on toast.

An alternative to using the sweet onion honey is to use an abundance of onions in your cooking.  The presence of onions in your meals provides more opportunities for them to work their mucus thinning magic! For instance, a pureed butternut squash soup can easily disguise the taste of a large amount of onions while helping break up congestion.

If they're not fond of onions, you could try a garlic and coconut oil foot rub.  Mince garlic, blend into coconut oil, and keep in a jar in the fridge.  You can then rub it on the soles of their feet.  Please don't put garlic directly on the sensitive skin of little feet!  The garlic oil will be absorbed through the soles of the feet and will also help clear mucus congestion.

An added benefit:  If your child has a fever and they have vomited some of their over-the-counter children's Advil or Tylenol medicine, and you don't know how much was actually digested and don't want to give another full dose too soon, you can slice onions (or garlic), put a little coconut or olive oil on the soles of their feet as a protective barrier, put the sliced onions on the soles of their feet and put socks on to hold them in place. This can bring down a fever in about 35 mins. I used this 27 years ago when my daughter was an infant and I could just feel the heat draining from her head towards her feet as I held her. OR, slice onions and put in a warm foot bath. The feet will absorb the onions (antiviral, can help reduce fever), esp if they have trouble swallowing or getting medicine down. These methods can also work for elder care, too!
Zarbee's Naturals Baby products have several different formulas for immune support, cough and mucus, antiviral, etc. They are organic and available at Target if you need immediately, but may be cheaper from Amazon if you can wait a couple of days.
You can also use a steamy bathroom with essential oils to help stuffy noses and bronchial congestion. You can go onto Pinterest and find instructions for making bath bombs or shower bombs. Use baking soda, mix in a few drops of eucalyptus or lavender or rosemary essential oils, mix and then press into cupcake tins or roll into balls. Toss one into the shower or put in a small bowl at the back of the shower to help diffuse it into the air.
Zarbee's also makes a non-petroleum-based chest rub, that you can use plain or with eucalyptus, lavender or rosemary EO. Be careful to not put it directly under their nose, but generously rub on their chest to help break up the congestion and feel confident that there are no petroleum products entering their system through the skin.

I also really like tea tree oil (antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, etc.) but sometimes the scent is too strong  for children, and even for some adults. I am NOT an Essential Oil practitioner, so I have only mentioned the ones that I use personally or that my daughter uses for herself and her family. And I only use them in drop doses. I mostly use tea tree, rosemary, thieves and lavender (lavender is great to keep in the kitchen to put immediately on a burn).  Thyme and oregano are my first go-to herbs for upper respiratory issues. I like to use them in a steam inhalation to get the volatile organics into the infected sinus and lung tissues.

 

Colloidal silver

The jury may be out on this one, but I personally believe in it and I use MesoSilver brand (https://www.purestcolloids.com/mesosilver.php). You can use it in drop doses for little ones. I have personally healed pink eye/conjunctivitis for both myself and my daughter when she was a toddler.  1 drop per eye for eye infections and related 'goopyness'. 1-2 drops 2x day in juice or water for internal use/antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial issues.  (I recommended it to a client who had a large patch of missing skin on her knee and a deep puncture wound on the sensitive skin on the inside of her thigh and both healed quickly and without issue or scarring by flushing with colloidal silver and applied John Keim's Amish Burn and Wound Ointment daily.)  I recently used colloidal silver on a skin growth on my cat's face, replacing a costly surgery with this mild and inexpensive method.  The growth dissolved within a few weeks of daily colloidal silver application and, instead of a painful surgery, pus trickled out slowly until the root came out.

 

Teething

If a runny nose or congestion is related to teething, a wonderfully effective homeopathic remedy is Camilia, also by Boiron. It can be found in most drug stores (Rite-Aid, CVS, Walgreens) and is also terrific for pain with braces and adult dental work.  Hands down, this is the best product you can get for your child's comfort and your sleep when four molars erupt in six days! (No kidding!)


Complete Kids Wellness Support


Another high-quality brand of children's products is the Alcohol-Free Children's Apothecary by Herbalist & Alchemist.  You can purchase these items separately, or they are brilliantly combined in a cost-effective convenient kit that covers from ear infections to  immune, digestive and nervous system support.


Their Healthy Kid's Compound (antiviral, antibacterial) supports healthy immune function, and can be used for colds, flu, inner ear sinus infections and mild upper respiratory infections, as well as chicken pox, intestinal viruses, measles, German measles and even Fifth disease. 

Their Kid's Calmpound Glycerite balances healthy nervous system function. This product is considered a general nervine and sedative formula, meaning it can be useful for anxiety, hyperactivity, insomnia, irritability, restlessness and even bad dreams.  Because it contains herbs that have antispasmodic and mild pain relieving properties, it could also be helpful with stress-induced head or stomach aches, hyperactivity, muscle spasms or even bruxism.

The Kid's Tummy Relief product promotes healthy digestion, so it can be helpful for nausea, upset stomach and even flatulence caused by stress, intestinal viruses, motion sickness, overeating and diarrhea.

The last product in this Children's Apothecary is the Compound Mullein Oil, which is a soothing ear oil that can be effective for treating acute ear infections with pain and inflammation (as long as the eardrum in intact).  Additionally, it can inhibit bacteria, fungi and viruses that may cause ear infections.

The Herbalist & Alchemist Healthy Kids Support Kit includes renowned herbalist David Winston's guidance within the package, explaining the proper use and application of each product.

You can find Herbalist & Alchemist products at most health food stores, Whole Foods, or some smaller alternative healing clinics and centers, or you can order directly from their online store at https://www.herbalist-alchemist.com/.


Overall Support

These last two items are for overall nutritional health, especially if your child's diet isn't as clean and complete as you might want it to be...  They certainly CAN be picky eaters!  If this is the case, you might try Zarbee's Naturals Baby Probiotics and Vitamin D3 drops.  Both are available at Target, CVS or Walgreens, or ordered from Amazon at a slightly lower price.   
Or research their products on their website:  https://www.zarbees.com/


This is just a high-level overview of some of the alternative products out there if you are looking to reduce the amount of pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical-grade over-the-counter products.  As stated above, I am not a doctor, and if your child is truly not well, please take them to a qualified healthcare practitioner, a doctor or your local ER if the situation warrants.

If you have any difficulty locating any of these products, please contact me and I am happy to assist you with acquiring them for your toddler and young child's continued health and well being.

Green Blessings,
-Donna
donna@willowmoonherbals.com



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Note: Any remedies or information listed on this blog post site are from personal experience or historical references, and used for teaching / educational purposes only. The contents are not meant to diagnose, treat, prescribe, cure or substitute consultation with a licensed health-care professional. My commentary has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, although some of the products mentioned may have been.  Please do your own research and consult a qualified healthcare practitioner.